penguins

Female penguins become new mums after hatching a chick together

They adopted an egg from another couple

Carla Challis

Katy Perry isn't the only one who has recently welcomed a new baby – as two female penguins are celebrating the arrival of their chick! Electra and Viola, a pair of gentoo penguins at the Oceanogràfic València aquarium in Spain, adopted the egg from another couple and stuck together to incubate and hatch it.

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The new chick is one of three recently hatched at the Spanish aquarium

According to the aquarium, the penguins began showing strong maternal instincts by building a nest together – a common breeding behaviour in penguins – so staff transferred a fertile egg from another couple to Electra and Viola. The new chick is one of three that have hatched so far this breeding season in the aquarium's colony of 25 gentoo penguins.

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Penguin eggs take around 38 days to hatch, with each parent taking it in turns to incubate the egg in the nest. It takes the chick about 75 days to become independent.

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Mums Electra and Viola share the parenting responsibilities of their new chick

The aquarium called the new mums an "exceptional pair" and the same sex parents are a first at Oceanogràfic València – however, it's quite common in the wild and other zoos have had same-sex penguin parents too. Two male penguins at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium in Australia welcomed their own baby in 2018, after being given a 'dummy' egg to see how committed the pair were to nurturing their egg. Sphen and Magic had become inseparable, and raised their baby girl Sphengic together; zoos in London and Berlin have also had same-sex penguin parents too.

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